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'We want answers' | Family of man killed in Cobb County no-knock warrant speaks out for first time

The family of Johnny Bolton still does not have any information about the raid or who fired the shots that killed Bolton.

SMYRNA, Ga. — The family of 49-year-old Johnny Bolton, who was killed in a no-knock warrant in Cobb County in December, spoke for the first time during a press conference Tuesday.

During the press conference, Bolton's family attorneys said they are conducting their own independent investigation as the family of Johnny Bolton still does not have any information about the raid or who fired the shots that killed Bolton. 

Daphne Bolton, Johnny's sister said there are still too many unanswered questions about what happened. 

"Unfortunately this storyline has played out too many times to recast, the sorrow and hurt of the death of my brother Johnny Lorenzo Bolton by the hands of the police department is no different than the hurt and sorrow and pain felt across countless families in this world," Daphne said during the press conference. "At this point, our intentions surround actions and justice." 

Bolton's family and attorneys said they've reached out to the Cobb County Sheriff's Office to find out exactly what happened and to release the video recordings when they executed a no-knock narcotics search warrant on Dec. 17, 2020. 

After the press conference, Cobb County Sheriff's Office issued the following statement: 

"The Cobb County Sheriff’s Office is fully cooperating with the District Attorney’s Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations regarding the 2020 death of Johnny Bolton. Upon taking office, Sheriff Owens called for a review of all internal policies and procedures to ensure the Office follows best practices. These reviews are critical to earning a Triple Crown rating and becoming a national model for community-oriented law enforcement."

According to a witness, Bolton was asleep on the couch at 505 Springbrook Trail SE in Smyrna, while the Marietta-Cobb-Smyrna Organized Crime Task Force agents and members of the Cobb County Sheriff's Office SWAT team executed the warrant. 

A witness said when law enforcement entered the house, Bolton stood up and was immediately shot and killed. The family's attorney said he was unarmed at the time. 

The sheriff's office alleges the warrant was part of a drug bust, and while Bolton's name was reportedly not listed on that warrant, the person who owned the apartment was and allegedly arrested at another location. 

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation finished its investigation and turned its findings to the Cobb County District Attorney's Office on March 16, 2021. 

The Cobb County District Attorney's Office released a letter Tuesday afternoon, it sent to the attorneys representing the Bolton family, on behalf of Cobb County Sheriff Craig Owens and the Cobb County Board of Commissioners.

In the letter, the attorney's office said it has reviewed "several material inaccuracies" in their complaint. 

The letter stated: "However, to fully evaluate the claims you have raised, and to thoughtfully consider the prospects of any early resolution, we too must await the full result of GBI's independent investigation, the Sheriff's Office internal investigation and presentment of the case to a Cobb County grand jury." 

The attorney's office reiterated that the Cobb County Sheriff's Office is fully cooperating with its office and the GBI's investigations. 

The district's attorney's office said it will convene a grand jury. 

You can read the district attorney's full letter to the attorneys of the Bolton family below: 

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